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Monday, 17 August 2015

Guide to unoccupied property insurance

I've got several properties that are unoccupied at the moment.  One that is undergoing a refurbishment the other that is empty as the property is up for sale.  Because the buy-to-let property was unoccupied for more than the standard 30-45 days allowable by most buy-to-let insurance my broker Alan Boswell advised that I would need specialist empty property insurance.  This I have done through Ocaso. 

Why do I need empty property insurance?

Firstly, why does a landlord need empty property insurance.  Surely, if the property is empty it's less likely not more likely to get damaged.  No tenants - no problems some would say.  Unfortunately that is not how insurers see it.  Their concerns are that an empty property is more likely to suffer damage though people entering and vandalising the property and ultimately the big concern and risk to the landlord and insurer is fire damage. Have a look at this recent article on a landlords insurance risks assessed.

The critical thing for all landlords is to check out the section in their insurance cover that gives the details of the limits to the period of time that the property can remain empty.  Alan Boswell's standard landlord insurance cover allows a property to be empty for up to 60 days from cover and 90 days between lettings in certain circumstances.

It may well be that unbeknown to a landlord because of a letting void or refurbishment of the property that insurance cover is invalidated.  This could be a very expensive over sight.

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